Category Archives: Electro in China

German TV ZDF broadcasts MINIMAL CHINA, 50 minutes about the techno scene of China

German TV station ZDF showed a special about Chinese trance, electro and minimal music, starting with a party on the Great Wall and commentary by Zhang Youdai and Elvis. T.

Kuddos to Rene for pointing that one out.


Experimental music from and in Beijing | Pangbianr’s Take No. 2

Pangbianr has done it again! They have made good quality music available for free for interested listeners worldwide! In their own words:

This year’s compilation documents fresh-born newcomers, the deepening maturity of the Beijing 20-something noise set, and new moves from the Old Guard. In the last year, new bands like Mr. Ray (Beijing) and Stalin Gardens(Shanghai) have sprung up to say, “I see that weird post-punk shit you’re doing and we can do it too, and better, and younger!” In the last year the college-age-ish crowd around D-22′s Zoomin’ Night came into their own, reaching a peak just in time for the last ever Zoomin’ Night in January, mourning & celebrating the end of D-22‘s near 6-year life. The Zoomin’ kids have caught the attention of their forerunners, prompting scene godfatherYan Jun to include some of the young bucks in his recent “improv committees.”

Here are the Credits & Track Notes:

Cover artLulu Chow

1. Fat City – “Familiar (熟悉)”

outtake from the Fat City/Luxinpei “Super Split”

2. Stalin Gardens – “Osteosarcoma”
demo track from new Shanghai band:

3. 1/2 Heavy Korean – “乃哥的歌 (Joe’s Song)”
practice room recording, April 2011. more here:

4. MeiZhiYong (梅志勇) – “Good swing”
new, unreleased track from Northeastern China’s MeiZhiYong. check out his cassette label, Fuzz Tape:

5. Xiao Hong Yu Xiao Xiao Hong (小红与小小红) – “未命名 (unnamed song)”
live @ D-22′s final Zoomin’ Night, 10 January 2012. recorded by Zhu

6. Mr. Ray – “鱼 (fish)”
live at D-22′s Zoomin’ Night, 11 October 2011. recorded by Zhu

7. Carsick Cars + Li Qing + Yang Fan – “Fishing”
studio outtake, 17 February 2012

8. Chui Wan (吹万) – “new song/improv (新歌/即兴)”
live @ D-22′s final Zoomin’ Night, 10 January 2012. recorded by Will

9. Soviet Pop – “System * System”
Live recording of Soviet Pop`s “System * System” performance at Three Shadows Photography Gallery in Beijing, 24 April 2011. They used one 4-track recorder, two cassette players, and two modular synths. They recorded 4 different tracks of sound at different speeds. The samples are from Stockhausen and Tenjo Sajiki. more info on Soviet

10. Vagus Nerve (迷走神经) – “A Recurrence of 3600 Years”
Vagus Nerve is Li Jianhong and Vavabond. This is the last track on the unreleased Vagus Nerve album “Go Back to the Sirus.”

11. Ad Hoc Improv Committee (临时即兴委员会) – “Half-Animal workshop (excerpt)”
Ad Hoc Improv Committee plays at Half-Animal workshop (music as field recording), 1 March 2012, The Pavilion, Beijing. artists: Yan Jun, Olaf Hochherz, Yan Yulong, Zhang Shouwang, Li Zenghui, Li Qing, Shi Yang, VAVABOND, Iku Sakan. workshop concept by: Olaf Hochherz.

Listen to Hongkong electronic punk called Papercoin

The good thing about Hongkong bands is that they have full access to the Internet and can speak very good English, hence the band Papercoin makes fully use of Facebook and Soundcloud. As they describe themselves:

Papercoin is an Electronic/Punk band from Hong Kong, formed in 2009. The principal members of the band are John Strohschein, Sanjay Leese, and Joey Orduna. We are currently unsigned, and all of our songs are self-produced. Our first release was the self-titled ‘Papercoin EP’, which came out in June 2010 and featured songs such as ‘Light A Fire’ and ‘Fallout’. Our second release, a self-produced, full-length album titled ‘The Noise From Insomnia’ was released on December 24, 2010.

Now, don’t expect Joyside, don’t think of P.K. 14 and definitely don’t think of Pet Conspiracy. Papercoin’s music is by far more ambient and pop punky, without any hard political themes or drunken emphasis. Not as energetic as White Eyes or Mix Market from Japan, but still lively enough to serve as more than background music for a relaxing night. Listen to a couple of their songs:

Free Music from Shanghai | Next Year’s Love | Noisy Rock

Straight outta Shanghai and with a pretty cool cover comes noise rock band Next Year’s Love and their latest self-titled EP.

Andy Best pointed them out to me, when I visited him in Shanghai and we had the chance to seem the live! Three young energetic girls playing noisy music for noisy people.

Next Year’s Love a video by Azchael on Flickr.

And now they have released their record with the help of Andy and his Qu Records record label. Kuddos to that and thanks for sharing the music on bandcamp. Interested in what others said? Read a review on Pangbianr and Smart Shanghai.

Pangbianr Radio & Distro | Beijing experimental music

Another way of experiencing Chinese underground music is being presented by Pangbianr, the blog / website / project of mainly Josh with the help of a couple of others. Besides organizing events and writing online about the vibrating experimental scene of Beijing, they are also distributing physical CDs with a selection of young and fresh bands in and out of Beijing.

Especially interesting for overseas listeners however is the bandcamp page of Pangbianr Radio, which features amongst others a Generation 6 compilation record with live songs and interviews:

Furthermore they feature songs of Carsick Cars, Chuiwan, Hot & Cold and bands that used to perform at the Zoomin Nights event at D-22.

Check it out …

AM444 – 神经末梢 (Shen Jing Mo Shao)

Great electro music from Shanghai: AM444.

AM444 is the Shanghai based project of singer ChaCha and producer Jay.Soul. Their debut cd Eye Wonder (PAUSE:MUSIC) is out now. Buy the digital album or CD directly from us at Bandcamp or download from Amazon, iTunes, Emusic etc.

ChaCha (Guizhou, China) is part of Shanghai’s no.1 reggae crew Uprooted Sunshine. She also records with the likes of Kode9, Clive Chin, Jahtari, Desto, Jimi Tenor, Sickstar & Sunbiz. One of China’s brightest underground stars, ChaCha effortlessly switches up styles to fit the reggae, electronic, hip-hop and leftfield grooves she sings her sharp self-penned lyrics over.

Jay.Soul is a versatile music producer and DJ from Amsterdam. He has made a wide range of tracks, both solo and for others, incl: Mr.Windmill, Cecilia Stalin, Sole Profit, Corey, NineFifty. He’s remixed Giovanca, Nas, Michael Franti & Spearhead, O.Boogie, The Proov, Roots Manuva and also composes music for commercials, film, websites, theatre and your momma!

2012_01_06: Electro Pop Concert at Yuyintang Shanghai

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A number of photos from an electro pop concert at Shanghai’s long-running underground venue YuYinTang.

I met up with Andy Best, Morgan Short and a couple of Shanghai’s underground rockers including Vivian of Muscle Snog.

All in all an interesting evening of independent music.